Only a small proportion of businesses realise sustainable value. Andrew Kakabadse, Professor of Governance and Leadership at Henley Business School in the UK, says that 34% of organisations surveyed had their top team divided on their company’s mission, value and strategy.

66% of companies’ top teams were too inhibited to face critical, uncomfortable issues. “General managers are often neglected when it comes to strategy execution and 85% of boards had no view on their company’s competitive advantage,” he said.

“It is critical that businesses disseminate information regarding strategy, value and vision throughout the company and management so that they can move forward with clear objectives and outcomes in mind.”

General managers are often obliged to implement a strategy that they themselves have had no part of. This makes poor business sense. There needs to be diversity of thinking in organisations.

Representatives of all areas of the business should be involved in your discussions around values, strategy and projects in order for all diverse views to be taken into account and one shared outcome to surface. This is how a competitive advantage emerges.

“Realising engagement is the critical challenge for sustainable performance,” he said.
“Currently in most organisations engagement is done incorrectly and is damaging to the organisation. Senior executives make all the decisions without input or buy-in from the rest of the organisation.”

Strategy, engagement, alignment and value delivery is the process that should be followed for an organisation to be successful. The most critical of these being engagement and alignment, and how those work together to provide value and implementation of the strategy.

“Sustainable success comes through engagement with diversity of thinking. You need to integrate contrasting inputs and opinions to realise a competitive advantage through all aspects of your business. The biggest issue and challenge is to bring your top executives into conversation with your overall business management and together address the challenges that are being faced.”